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Brentford Player Ratings – Gameweek 24

Gameweek 24 - Brentford Player Ratings after latest matchday

Nick Bruzon provides an update to his list containing the Top 5 Brentford players over the season so far. This edition comes after Gameweek 24.

A 2-0 loss for Brentford at Manchester City on Wednesday evening was one in which a very much rejigged line up can feel, perhaps, hard done by.

As much given that the two goals scored by the League Champions both came from individual errors.

The first, a Riyad Mahrez penalty kick after Mads Roerslev had ploughed through Raheem Sterling and left referee Darren England with little choice but to point towards the spot. That the whole move had started after Sergi Canos had spurned multiple chances to get the ball clear from midfield but came undone by his own attempts to over-elaborate was even more frustrating, given up until that point (the 40th minute) the Bees had frustrated their hosts with a disciplined and well marshalled performance.

The second, with little more than twenty minutes left to play, came after David Raya’s pass out only went as far as that man Sterling. It was Alvaro Fernandez at Liverpool all over again. Despite a fine stop to almost atone for losing the ball under so little pressure, it fell straight to Kevin De Bruyne who kept his cool to guide home. Any thoughts about getting back into the game gone in a heartbeat.

The second half pressure that The Bees had been building dissipating into the night sky as Brentford went the same way as so many others. City’s record of not having lost in the Premier League since October 2020 remaining intact. Another notch carved on the bedpost as the inevitable title came a step closer.

So, a free hit for Brentford that ended as most would have expected in terms of result.

Yet the scoreline offered hope for so long with The Bees defending deep but managing to keep our illustrious hosts at bay. The punch to the gut feeling of going down to such a needless goal, so close to half-time, a brutal one. Hope was offered in the second period but in the end, as with so many that had gone before, City were triumphant.

On the plus side, the sort of hammering administered to so many sides by Manchester City this season wasn’t anywhere near the agenda. Norwich and Arsenal have both shipped 5, Leicester City 6 and Leeds United 7 (seven) so to ‘only’ go down by 2 is a part blessing .

In so much as preserving our goal difference and moreso given Thomas’s starting XI. There was no Ivan Toney or Vitaly Janelt (surely being protected for the weekend visit of Crystal Palace) whilst Yoanne Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo both began the night on the bench, alongside Josh Dasilva. It had the feeling of very much protecting the team for the exertions that lie ahead and, to be fair, almost worked.

That said, let’s please never repeat the front two pairing of Sergi and Saman Ghoddos again. The later, I thought, played well in patches but the communication between the pair of them somewhat lacking. Hey, at least we know what an offside flag looks like.

All the wailing, moaning, gnashing of teeth and Dean Smith ‘deserved to win’ doesn’t change the fact that Brentford were left empty handed.

Instead, let’s look at those individual performances. Did anyone come out shining? Is there any cause for positivity? With Ivan Toney sitting this one out, can anybody make ground in the hunt to find our game by game season long star performer?

Brentford Player Ratings from Gameweek 24 (vs Man City)

1st (Star Player) – Kris Ajer
It was a tough decision to differentiate between our first and second place selections and could have gone either way.

Yet after the defensive calamities seen at Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday, there had been genuine concern as to what City might do to us.

Instead, they were largely nullified. 76% possession being rewarded by just the two goals and this, in no small part, down to the work rate of Ajer.

He was immense. Heading clear. Intercepting. Sliding in. Screaming at his defence and goalkeeper. There were a few challenges reminiscent of the one up at Wolves early on in the season. Overall, inspirational.

For all our transfer model of signing new talent has worked well in the past, sometimes you just can’t put a price on experience. So good to have him back and at his best

2nd – Rico Henry
Oh, it was close. So close.

Rico can perhaps feel hard done by in not scooping another ‘star man’ award. At least, if he was reading this which, let’s be honest, is about as unlikely as it was our winning last night.

Hey, stranger things.

For once though, it wasn’t so much his attacking play which had us in raptures but his prowess at the back. One almost forgets Rico was originally signed as a left back and whilst his new position offers greater flexibility in getting forward, when called upon to protect last night (which was a lot) he was everywhere. Header after header. Block after block. Not to mention the odd foray towards our opponents which even saw him close to a first half equaliser.

3rd – Christian Norgaard
In a game where City saw over three-quarters of the ball, defensive solidity was key to any thoughts of taking something.

That we came so close – relatively speaking – was in no part down to Christian sitting just in front of the back three. Calm, cautious, clever. Not afraid to try and play the ball out when the opportunity presented itself. Sticking to the plan and containing City when he couldn’t

4th – Mathias Jensen
Given how attacking intent was so stifled, at least he tried to open up City. Has been in much better form in the last few games and with Josh Dasilva back and Christian Eriksen imminent, this is no bad thing for keeping the pressure on. With Vitaly Janelt out (inj) and Frank Onyeka back into the team but, in my opinion, quieter than normal Jensen had to put in an absolute shift.

5th – David Raya
So good to have him back in Premier League action. Would have finished higher but there WAS the second goal. Err, move along nothing to see here. Ring rust, anyone? That aside, looked confident and reassuring whilst pulling off a number of great saves. One in the first half, where the ball had gone straight through Ethan’s legs the best of a bunch that included stops from Cancelo, Silva and Rodri. Whilst the game was lost, David’s performance may well be the equivalent to an extra point after game 38, purely in terms of the goal difference. Fifteen shots against and only two conceded. Whilst he isn’t the first Bees ‘keeper to make a slip this season, the overall performance was a world apart from the other incumbents of the pink jersey.

Brentford Player Ratings – Top 5 Players Overall (after Gameweek 24)

All of which means there is no change at the top, with Ivan still clear, but that chasing pack continues to close in. Mr. Consistent Christian Norgaard sitting just behind Bryan Mbeumo whilst Rico Henry gets another notch on the board after missing that chunk of games.

1st – Ivan Toney
2nd – Bryan Mbuemo
3rd – Christian Norgaard
4th – Rico Henry
5th – Vitaly Janelt

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Gameweek 24 - Brentford Player Ratings after latest matchday

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